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Lieutenant Governor Treadwell Welcomes Supreme Court Ruling on Senate Election

(December 22, 2010, Anchorage, AK) Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell welcomed the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling on all counts supporting actions by the Division of Elections in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race.

“We are pleased with the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court,” Lieutenant Governor Treadwell said.  “We will now return to federal court and seek to have the injunction lifted so that the U.S. Senate election can be certified.”

Assuming the case prevails in federal court, the lieutenant governor plans to meet with Governor Sean Parnell before the New Year to sign the paperwork necessary to reseat Senator Lisa Murkowski.  That paperwork must be filed in Washington, D.C., by January 3.

The Supreme Court began its ruling with “the bedrock principle that … one of the fundamental prerogatives of citizenship” is “the right of citizens is to cast their ballots and thus participate in the selection of those who control their government.”  The ruling cites the Supreme Court’s past case law and Alaska’s statutory regulation in its decision determining that “the voter’s intention is paramount.”

The court found consistency in the way Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai carried out her responsibility.  Her procedures were consistent with those applied to military absentee voters, and were equally applied to all candidates.  The court ruling states, “[T]he Division’s methodology gave all of the ballots – as well as all of the candidates – equal treatment.”

“We commend Director Fenumiai, Solicitor General Joanne Grace and her hard-working team at the Department of Law, and former Lieutenant Governor Craig Campbell for their meticulous execution of the law over these past two months,” Lt. Governor Treadwell said.

The Supreme Court has noted that a contest of the election would not bar certification, and that “there are no remaining issues raised by [Joe] Miller that would prevent this election from being certified.”

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